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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Opinion > HTB

The crucial role of the commercial mortgages broker

Colin Bell, managing director of Hampshire Trust Bank | 18:06 Friday 19th May 2017

Many specialist and challenger banks provide commercial mortgages through brokers as well as, or in many cases instead of, going direct to the end customers.

So, why are intermediaries such an integral part of the specialist commercial mortgages market and how do they provide added value to their clients?

When it comes to commercial mortgages, there are a huge range of options out there. Whether a client wants to buy a commercial property such as an office, industrial unit or shop for their own business use or purchase a property as an investment, there are many aspects to consider and this is where brokers can help.

Commercial mortgages brokers can review the market for the most appropriate deal. They have access to specialist lenders, such as Hampshire Trust Bank, that rarely deal direct and aim to set themselves apart from the high street banks by offering more tailored financial solutions. Brokers may also be able to recommend lenders that have a particular knowledge or specialism in certain business sectors or regions and are therefore more able to make a decision within the required timeframe.

One of the main reasons why specialist lenders can take a more personalised and balanced approach to commercial mortgages lending decisions is because they work with experienced brokers, who will have already done a lot of the legwork and they use specialist underwriters.

Most lenders will request a wide range of commercial information before making a mortgage decision. Brokers can anticipate this and help ensure all of the relevant documentation is provided at an early stage of the process such as audited accounts, growth projections and businesses plans, helping to save clients time by streamlining the process. When trying to secure the right property for your business, time can be key and this is where the right intermediary can add real value.

As a former broker myself, I speak from personal experience about the reasons why intermediaries may choose to work with specialist or challenger banks. First and foremost, it is about the return to relationship-based banking that many provide. It is important for brokers to be able to get to know a lender, understand the way they work and trust that they will receive a response within agreed timeframes. Indeed, this is vital if they are to successfully build their business reputations and grow their customer base.

Historically, many SMEs have struggled to access the finance they need to grow their businesses. By working in partnership, brokers and specialist lenders have a crucial role to play in ensuring clients can buy the properties they need to establish or expand their operations.

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